Prison Librarianship Policy and Practice

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About the Book

Prisoners are in a grey area regarding library services. Prison libraries violate many tenets of librarianship, with the justification of maintaining order. The field is de-professionalized—many positions are filled by persons without degrees in library science, and corrections administrators often write policy for services.
Critics cite the need to implement public library service models despite practical difficulties.
This book investigates state, national and international policies on prison libraries, reviews literature on the topic and describes partnerships between prisons and public libraries. Results from a national survey and follow-up interviews are included, providing a full narrative of policy outcomes in U.S. prisons.

About the Author(s)

Suzanna Conrad is the head of library information systems in the University Library at California State University Sacramento. Her research interests include human-computer interaction, scholarly communication and ethics in librarianship. She lives in Sacramento.

Bibliographic Details

Suzanna Conrad
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6633-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2702-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments v

Preface 1

Introduction 3

List of Abbreviations 17

Part I: The Prison Library in Context:

Current and Historic Purposes and

Policies of Prison Libraries

1. Current and Historic National Policy 19

2. Current State Policy 32

3. Literature on Key Issues in Prison Librarianship 42

Part II: Neglect and Disadvantage:

The Prison Library as the Forgotten Field of Librarianship

4. Court Cases Affecting the Prisoner’s Right to Read 61

5. Court Cases Affecting the Prisoner’s Right of Access to the Courts 76

6. The Neglected Profession 95

7. The Prisoner as the Public Library Patron 107

Part III: Research and Discovery

8. Current Policies in Prison Librarianship: An Expanded Survey 119

9. Prison Librarianship in Practice: Interviews with Prison Librarians 143

Conclusion: Revisiting the Role of the Prison Librarian 169

Appendix A: Summary of State Approaches to Prison Library Services 181

Appendix B: ALA Advocacy Policies 184

Appendix C: List of Citations on Prison Librarianship 185

Chapter Notes 191

References 205

Index 213